Tuesday 8 February 2011

A glorious day on the allotment.

Well I awoke this morning to a much better day...I couldn't see it at that point as it was still very dark but when my Hubby came in form work I asked him what the wind was doing and he simply answered, 'It's gone!'....boy did I love that phrase and it totally lifted my spirits.

I got up and leisurely pottered about doing bits and bobs for an hour or so until the sun rose into a beautiful clear sky, I have some unexpected time off work so then I got on with the cleaning getting done for just past midday so that I could spend a few hours up the plot.

Although we had a light frost in the night the sun was warm and it was lovely to be out in the fresh air. My main plan today was to get the pond area finished but I also knew that there were some water-butts for sale at the allotment so I sought one of those out too as when we put some new fence posts in to stabilize the fence more after the recent winds we found the ground very wet at the back of the shed and this was where the two fence posts had rotted through. We think this is due to the water off the shed roof so have erected some guttering and I wanted to capture the water for the garden. The water butts were £16 so I got one of those but as it is really big and doesn't have a tap system I decided I would use this one on the allotment and take the smaller one from the plot home. I didn't want to waste the water in the butt so I transferred half to the new butt...then moved the original one to put the new one in place. I then realized I was going to have a dilemma when wanting to get the water out...I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I'm kind of short and don't even reach 5' so I then thought it would be a good idea to dig out the earth to lower the new water butt so I would be able to stick my watering can in the top.....two full barrow loads of wet earth later and it was in pace...I then took the remaining water from the older butt and put in the new one...this has half filled the butt so there is plenty of room for more water.

new water butt
Here is my new water butt in place and half full, pipe installed to collect the water from the greenhouse!!

Oh and talking of the greenhouse I should let you know about my glass breakage...now most people would put it down to the wind but I'm not so sure. The winds were incredibly strong but mainly south westerly over the last week and it was a pane on the north side of the greenhouse which was broken...again you think, 'well maybe something blew into it', but the strange things is the glass wasn't broken near the greenhouse...it was up near the cold frame and that's where it was smashed. The bottom pane of glass was laid over the path un-broken...four of the glass clips were near the glass laid on the path...and the other four were inside the greenhouse in one of my seed trays on the top shelf of the staging...oh and three plastic pots which I sow my beans in were gone form the middle of the large seed tray. Now even I think this is a little clever for the winds that we have had and was wondering if someone had been playing games. Anyway the greenhouse is patched up for now and will hopefully be repaired properly at the weekend and a quick rummage in the recycle pot dump replaced the three missing pots.

rhubarbs final resting place
My rhubarb potted up and put in it's final resting place...It was just starting to sprout so I'm hoping I got it moved just in time!

As I went to the allotment to finish my pond area off I had to decide where to put my rhubarb without it getting out of hand...in the end I decided on putting it in a pot to keep it under control and situating it near the manure heap....it will get plenty of nutrients here and always be out of the way!!

Then I finally got on with the pond area...the two barrow loads of soil I removed for the water butt came in handy for topping up the soil round the pond and now I just have to get some plants sorted and growing round the edges. Dave has offered me some grasses which he has in pots and I am going to sow wild flower seeds to attract all sorts of different wildlife. This is where we are going to let the toads go when the weather gets a little warmer and I am hoping that more will join them and maybe we'll get some frogspawn. I won't be putting any fish in it and it's not a 'real' pond but I wanted a little water feature to attract more wildlife to my plot.

mt little water feature
My pond...which is actually a boat shaped sandpit but I got it for a bargain price at the end of last summer!!

So what do you think?? It isn't anything spectacular but ponds and pond liner were in excess of £50 to buy and I really didn't want to spend that sort of money.....I think once the plants get growing and I get some wildflowers growing behind and trailing down it will be a wonderful place for the wildlife to hang out with me.. :-)

Other wind damage was just a bit of down pipe that came loose and has been wedged back in place ready to be fixed properly at the weekend.

On a sadder note...some people have been having problems with a fox and there livestock...now I know they want to protect them and everything but I hate the fact that they caught the fox...yes they have lost a few chickens...but the fox was only acting on instinct...maybe they should have reinforced their pens. Well it doesn't really matter as the vixen was caught some time in the last week and although I am grateful they didn't kill her she has been moved far away and I think it is sad that she has been removed from her home territory...she has had a den around here for a few years now and last year I know she was around as I saw her footprints in the snow. All that said though I know that last year she had two cubs and also the year before that so I am hoping that the cubs will be fine and we will probably see the vixen again anyway as she might make her way back to familiar territory.

OK...that's all from me for now...I'm sure my limbs are going to protest tomorrow about all the heavy lifting so I decided it would be a good idea earlier to move all my bedroom furniture to vacuum and dust all the skirtings...that said I think I deserve a sit down and a nice cuppa!!

Hope everyone elses weather has improved too.....oh and please forgive any errors...as I think I am too tired to read this back for mistakes.



  1. I would say that you had one great day. You sure accomplished a lot. It's amazing what a little nice weather can do for you. I'm a bit exhausted just reading about it all...lol

  2. It sounds like a busy day. I've got a really small pond in my garden and it's amazing how much extra wildlife it attracts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some frogspawn this year.

  3. One little point - have you a bit where frogs and hedgehogs can hop out. The pond needs a shallow bit - this way hedgehogs falling in or frogs wanting to leave can climb out. Maybe you could create a stairway out using bricks ofr stones - you can then hide it with plants.

  4. GLA>>>>Those rocks you can see in the bottom left hand corner of the picture are actually arranged as stepping stones in and out of the pond...there are some the other side and the tip of the boat has a step up too. I know that toads can drown so I was very cautious on my whole set up.. :-)

    The pond isn't very level at the minute and I am debating on whether to level it up or not...can't wait to get the foliage growing around and start attracting a few visitors!!

  5. I ought to have known that you wouldn't forget safety for wildlife. Even frogs can drown - it's surprising how many people on our site when they find a frog head for a pond to put it in when it probably prefers to be out and about looking for juicy bugs!

  6. Lucky you with the good weather, we've still got four feet of snow here and expecting a few more inches over the weekend. I'm thinking about starting some seeds though--last year's garden was a complete bust but I'm going to keep trying.


keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!